Mein Krieg: German veterans retelling of the Eastern Front
In the film Mein Krieg, we see how veterans of the German army reflected on their service during Germany’s invasion of Russia. All of the German veterans had filmed some part of their experiences and were questioned on what their thoughts were at the time and what they think about it now.
Most of the veterans still seemed to have views that they were fighting for a good cause. At the beginning of the Russian campaign, the veterans generally appeared to be in a good mood reminiscing on stories of happier times. Once the German soldiers were ordered to ‘withdraw’, most of the veterans were now clearly in a more depressed mood. They tended to recollect their stories while staring at the ground. The old German soldiers had been built up to believe that there was no way they would lose the war but as we all know that is exactly what happened. The veteran who became a businessman because of his parents said in the film, “I never believed we’d lose the war. We were disappointed. Very, very disappointed”.
Out of the bunch of old soldiers, there was only one old soldier who showed that he was remorseful of the German army’s actions during the war. When he was a POW at a Russian camp, he was first informed of the German army’s atrocities. He said, “We had not known that. We didn’t believe it at first. We thought it was exaggerated”. He quickly came to terms with the German crimes when the Russian brought forth credible evidence.
Mein Krieg is an interesting documentary that provides insight into the views of old German soldiers from the Second World War. The film shows that some soldiers still hold tight to their beliefs from the war while also showing that some have seen the wrongdoing in the army’s actions because of the war.
- Mein Krieg. Directed by Harriet Eder. Kino on Video, 1997. Film.
- “My Private War.” IMDb. Accessed November 21, 2015. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107547/.